By Thomas Buchanan, MPIA ’13
The Penburthy Intramural Fields sizzled under the blistering afternoon sun last Friday as the first-year and second-year teams came together for a flag-football match that would turn out to be nothing short of historic. Each team spoke of camaraderie and sportsmanship, but the gravity of what was at stake weighed down on each team as oppressively as the temperature.
An end zone catch by first-year Katie Tippett set an early pace for the game, putting their team up nine points – six for the catch, and three more for having a female
involved in the play. “It’s just the first of many!” she laughed as she jogged off the field afterward.
Not to be outdone, the second-years quickly tied it back up with a beautiful play. After a solid push back down the field, Staci Jarvis sent a long pass down to Co-captain Jack Huguley who deftly ran it past the goal line.
Coming out of half time with a tied score of 9-9, tensions were high. Friendly banter quickly gave way to aggressive shouts of strategy from both teams. Each had expected a dominating lead by this point and seemed determined to turn things around in the second half.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Both team’s skills and strategy seemed to mirror the other. If the first half was a sensational display of offense from both teams, then the second was a defensive war of grueling attrition. A long sludge down the field from one team was inevitably countered by an equally arduous push from the other. In fact, no sooner had first-year Mickael Kramer managed to grab an interception, second-year Jake Ware pulled off an equally impressive intercept at the 50-yard line.
At the end of the second half, the score remained tied at 9-9, and even the fans in the bleachers seemed eager for the game to finish so they could run and seek shelter from the sun. No one wanted this game to be settled through overtime play, but neither team was ready to quit.
The second-years were the first to settle up on the twenty-yard line. They had four downs to manage a goal, and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. In a heartbreaking display, they managed to get the ball a hair’s width away from glory, but couldn’t make it through. Taking the ball for their own turn on the offense though, the first-years managed to finally break the stalemate and score on the third down, winning the game with a final score of 15-9.
As each team fled the field to celebrate, or commiserate, the outcome, I couldn’t help but wonder how future Bush School students would remember this game – as the very first time that a Bush School class managed to lose both of their matches, or as the first of two equally unheard of back-to-back wins for the class of 2014?